TuneCore Shifts to Subscription – Including Unlimited Song Uploads

Music distro giant TuneCore, one of the world’s biggest revenue generators for DIY musicians, has shifted to annual subscription plans with unlimited releases.

The shift, effective immediately, will allow artists and labels to distribute an unlimited number of songs and albums per year for one flat fee. TuneCore is now offering multiple annual subscription plans tailored to artists in varying stages of their careers.

The transition serves as a major upgrade to TuneCore’s long-running DIY music distribution offering. TuneCore says its move to a subscription-based unlimited model will give the freedom to create more music, while affording the flexibility to experiment with new release strategies.

Under the new model, artists will still receive 100% of their royalties from streaming platforms and other digital sales outlets. Additionally, the company emphasized that its worldwide reach, dedicated artist support team, suite of publishing tools, and content review and rights specialists will remain part of the core offering.

From early-stage artists looking to share music on social platforms, to professional labels and producers seeking advanced distribution and management, TuneCore offers access to 150+ digital music stores in over 200 countries. Earlier this year, Tunecore joined forces with DMN to further expand the company’s impact on DIY artists.

Tunecore’s transition to an annual subscription platform offers different perks across a number of different tiers.

Here’s a quick breakdown of the new pricing plans.

The New Artist Plan is free and designed to kickstart music careers via social platforms. This plan allows creators to monetize all tracks and songs published across social media, sets up a YouTube Official Artist channel, and empowers artists with the ability to receive weekly payments.

The Rising Artists Plan offers one of the most affordable and competitive distribution options available to music creators. At $14.99 per year for unlimited releases, new artists can take advantage of TuneCore Rewards programming to boost industry knowledge and receive guidance on the release of new tracks. The Rising Artists Plan adds to the perks offered within the free tier, while also allowing musicians to pre-schedule release dates and receive instant Apple, Spotify, and YouTube verification.

The Breakout Artist Plan facilitates unlimited releases to digital stores and social platforms. A flat annual fee of $29.99 buys a complete distribution suite — including advanced features to customize releases, access to cover art creator tools, a ‘Store Automator,’ and daily trend reports.

TuneCore’s Professional Plan is tailored to meet the distribution demands of labels, music managers, and collaborative artists. At $49.99 per year, TuneCore’s premium plan offers every perk found within the lower tiers, along with an unlimited number of artist profiles and releases. It also offers access to pro panels and expert advice sessions, promotional opportunities, and exclusive partnerships.

TuneCore's subscription tiers (expand to enlarge) TuneCore’s subscription tiers

Tunecore assert that artists and labels will continue to keep 100% of their revenue from digital stores with Rising, Breakout, and Professional plans.

The company further noted that all of its tiers are focused on amplifying artist releases and augmenting exposure. Alongside the announcement, Tunecore is also partnering with a range of DSPs and platforms to maximize the ability of music by listeners worldwide discover.

Beyond its bread-and-butter distribution, TuneCore also continues to facilitate sync licensing, copyright protection, and monetization services across all digital platforms. On the sync side, that includes strategically pitching music for placements. Streaming reporting and analytics are also bundled into the various plans.

“What are all the pieces that are important to artists so they can make more money? A lot of times, they’re leaving money on the table,” said Erica Quinn, Sr. Director of Client Marketing at TuneCore. “So we’ve gone in, and we’ve added sync licensing. We’ve added music publishing. Our sync team pitches music from our catalog for placements.”

The platform’s transition to annual subscription plans will not impact current releases and distribution for existing TuneCore users.

That includes the collection of publishing royalties on compositions currently being distributed via the platform. TuneCore artists will also continue to maintain control over how they receive payments from the sale and use of their compositions around the world.

“Music distribution has changed. Releasing music has changed,” Quinn continued. “It’s time to reinvent ourselves. You have to be willing to change your business. That’s where we’re coming to the forefront — breaking those barriers and bringing something new to the independent industry.”

Helping to spearhead the switch is rapper Papoose, a longtime TuneCore client. Papoose first gained steam in the 90s by distributing his own mixtapes before inking a multi-million dollar deal with Jive Records. “Anyone who has followed my career closely would know that I believe in giving as much control to the artist as possible,” Papoose relayed. “This is done by allowing the artist to create what they want and to release music when they please. It is exciting to see that TuneCore values ​​its artists enough to give them the freedom of consistent creation and I truly believe that this will change the face of the music industry.”

Talking about TuneCore’s partnership with Papoose, Erica pointed to Papoose’s considerable industry experience. “He’s an artist who’s been on both sides of it.”

Launched in 2006, TuneCore was one of the first services to allow creators to release music on download stores independently. Tunecore gave artists artists offering access to fans and digital a cost-effective way to release music. That eliminated the middleman for DIY artists, and reduced the barriers of entry that previously existed in the music industry.

Before the broader global rollout, a beta-stage subscription-based offering was launched in Canada and Australia. TuneCore is owned by Believe.